Feast of Three Kings Festival Location: Old Goa, Panaji
Feast of Three Kings Festival Highlights: Elaborate feasting and celebrations in Goa
Feast of Three Kings Festival Duration: 9 days, commences on January 6th
A very popular event in Goa is the Feast of Three Kings. It is celebrated every year in the month of January during the holy Epiphany. This is one Christian festival that is celebrated with much joy by the Hindus as well. The Feast of Three Kings is celebrated in the honor of the Three Kings of Magi who came with gifts for infant Jesus Christ. It is said that a boulder on a nearby hill has two sets of footprints; one of an infant and one of an adult. It is said that the Virgin Mary and the infant rested here in order to let their horse quench its thirst.
Though it is not known how true this legend is, it is also said that the place where the Chapel of Remedios is located was once the site of a Hindu temple. This is also one reason why Hindus flock here in large numbers with incense sticks and candles to worship the lord. Every year in January, a vast procession is taken up the hill to the holy chapel and is marked by vivid celebrations and merry making. A carnival like atmosphere is created and a fair is organized where all small knick knacks and other items can be purchased.
The best part of the festival is at the end when Three Kings of Magi are chosen from the crowd. They are usually three small kids between the age groups of 8 - 10. The whole crowd gathers around them as they head up the hill in a colorful procession. There is merriment and dancing all the way to the hill top. The three "kings" come from different routes and meet at the hill top amidst a cheering crowd.